Today, in 1871, Ulysses S. Grant requested that Congress pass legislation to address the KKK activities on racially motivated conspiracies intended to deprive people of equal protection under the laws — providing a civil remedy to the victims of private acts of violence motivated by discrimination and racial bias. This federal legislation was necessary as local and state courts were ineffective in prosecuting Klan violence due to either sympathies for or fear of repercussions of the Klan.
Juneteenth is a holiday which commemorates the abolition of slavery on June 19, 1865. Though not yet a national holiday, every state except North Dakota, South Dakota, and Hawaii have some sort of Juneteenth celebration.
Serving in the House of Representatives for 59 years, from the presidencies of Dwight Eisenhower to Barack Obama, John Dingell’s legislative legacy is extraordinary and he will be missed!